Standing outside Hy-Vee waiting to be picked up, an elderly veteran held his hand out."Thank you for your service," he said to another man about the same age wearing a black and gold WWII veterans hat. This scene was repeated countless times across the area as veterans, families and friends gathered to honor service men and women.
As the old and young enjoyed breakfast at Hy-Vee for the annual free breakfast for veterans, not one person stood or sat alone.
Young Guardsmen dressed in fatigues dined with veterans whose stories could be seen on their faces as their eyes twinkled to hear stories newer than theirs.
"This is so great. We did not serve together, but we fought in the same Army," one man said as he cleaned his plate and left the store.
Students at Simonsen Ninth Grade Center fell silent as Leroy Heman addressed them. A moving motivational speaker, Heman spoke of being patriotic.
"It is my belief children learn what they are taught," he said. "They can be taught many things, and being patriotic should be one of them."
Members of the VFW No. 1003 honor guard demonstrated a flag-folding ceremony, followed by the playing of "Taps."